Textile exporters have stressed upon the upcoming government to forge export oriented policies to ensure new surge in dwindled economy and battered industrial sector, said Asghar Ali, chairman and Muhammad Asif, vice chairman Pakistan Textile Exporters Association here today.
In a press statement, PTEA office bearers urged the upcoming government to give top priority to boost economy as Pakistan could not make sound progress without turning around its sagging economy. Energy crisis coupled with high interest rate, excessive burden of taxes and stuck up amounts in refund regimes has not only jeopardized growth of the textile industry and exports but put the survival of existing industry at stake.
They said that textile sector has much hopes on the new government which is going to be formed with an industry-related background. It should be the top priority of the new Government to restore the confidence of industrialists and overcome the energy crises, they said.
Terming energy shortage as main hurdle in industrial process, Asghar Ali urged the government to prioritize uninterrupted energy supply to the textile industry to secure 15 million jobs and USD 14 billion exports. Textile sector has been hit hard due to ongoing energy crisis, depriving the gas supply to the textile units for four days a week. Energy shortage has adversely affected textile production mainly meant for exports, as 50 percent of its capacity potential remained non-operative. Sizeable workforce has been laid off due to disruption of gas supply, adding to the unemployment index of the country with every passing day.
Unprecedented supply cut of four days a week and long hours forced power outages has put the industry again on back gear. Especially power looms sector, the base of textile sector has started trembling and hundreds of units have been forced to shut down operations due to 16 to 18 hours long daily forced electricity outages. The crisis is still on and we don’t know about future of this sector.
Chairman PTEA was of the view that high interest rate is a stumbling block for investment in the country. Textile industry is ready to undertake further investment as early as it is provided with financial environment conducive to grow. New Government should focus on to ensure liquidity available for the industry for productive utilization leading to industrial development in the country. Textile export volume could be escalated to USD 20 billion from the existing worth of USD 13 billion if the government takes all stakeholders on board and finalizes an export policy with their consultations, keeping in mind the existing huge trade gap of USD 21.271 billion, as during 2011–12 total exports of Pakistan were USD 23.641 billion against total imports of USD 44.912 billion.
This huge trade gap has resulted into inflation and devaluation of Pak Rupee, he said. The government may study export policies of India, China and Bangladesh where exporters are facilitated through export-friendly policies, he said and added that FBR should announce export friendly policies instead of creating difficulties for the industry.
Muhammad Asif was of the view that textile industry, being mainstay of country’s economy deserves priority of the government with respect to uninterrupted energy supply, payment of refunds and relaxation in taxes enabling it to compete in international market. Economic managers of the new government would keep industry operational and no compromises would be made. Industry hopes that prudence as well as solutions imperative for the proper functioning of industry for the sake of national output would be made.
PTEA chiefs urged the new leadership to draw a comprehensive line of action for revival of the economy and to boost national exports and industrial development in the country.
Source: Pak Observer .
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